Andrew Castle says he's 'still reeling' from Boris Becker being jailed

‘I’m sad his life has come to this’: Former British No1 Andrew Castle says he’s ‘still reeling’ from ‘great mate’ Boris Becker being jailed for 2½ years for fraud

  • Boris Becker was today jailed for 30 months for flouting terms of his bankruptcy
  • The 54-year-old owed creditors almost £50million over unpaid loan of £3million
  • He was found to have transferred around £390,000 from his business account
  • Andrew Castle today said he was shocked and described Becker as a ‘great mate’

Former British number one tennis player Andrew Castle said he is ‘still reeling’ after his ‘great mate’ Boris Becker was jailed for two and a half years for fraud.

Three-time Wimbledon champion Becker was today jailed for flouting the terms of his bankruptcy by hiding £2.5million worth of assets and loans to avoid paying his debts.

Afterwards, Mr Castle, speaking during his slot on LBC radio, said he was shocked by the news and described Becker as a ‘great mate of mine’.

Mr Castle, who has worked alongside Becker as commentators for the BBC, said: ‘I’ve sat alongside him, I’ve played with him, I’ve practised with him, I’ve been out with him, I’ve been drunk with him, he’s a good man – he’s going to prison for two and a half years.

‘And I’m, look, I’m shocked because it’s close to me. I’m sad that his life has come to this and I hope he’s able to rebuild on the other side.’

Boris Becker arrives with partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro for his sentencing at Southwark Crown Court in London today

Former British number one Andrew Castle, speaking during his slot on LBC radio today, said he was shocked by Becker being jailed and described him as a ‘great mate of mine’

Becker, 54, was declared bankrupt in June 2017, owing creditors almost £50million over an unpaid loan of more than £3million on his estate in Mallorca, Spain. The BBC pundit transferred around £390,000 from his business account to others, including those of his ex-wife Barbara Becker and estranged wife Sharlely ‘Lilly’ Becker.

He also failed to declare his share in a £1million property in his home town of Leimen, Germany, hid a bank loan of almost £700,000 – worth £1.1million with interest – and concealed 75,000 shares in a tech firm, valued at £66,000.

Becker – who got a two-year suspended sentence for tax evasion and attempted tax evasion worth £1.4million in Germany in 2002 – was found guilty on April 8 of four Insolvency Act offences between June and October 2017.

Mr Castle added: ‘If you don’t pay your creditors, you pay the price.

‘It’s the second time this had happened after what happened in Germany back in 2002. I thought this was a possibility, but I’m surprised and deeply shocked that I won’t be working with him at Wimbledon this year and that he’s going to go to prison.’

This afternoon, Judge Deborah Taylor sentenced the six-time Grand Slam champion to 30 months’ imprisonment, of which he will serve at least half.

Referring to Becker’s previous conviction, the judge said this afternoon: ‘You did not heed the warning you were given and the chance you were given by the suspended sentence and that is a significant aggravating factor.’

And she told father-of-four Becker: ‘I take into account what has been described as your “fall from grace”. You have lost your career and reputation and all of your property as a result of your bankruptcy.


A court artist’s sketch of Becker awaiting his sentencing (left) and being sentenced (right) at Southwark Crown Court today

Boris Becker arrives with partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro for his sentencing at Southwark Crown Court in London today


Becker became the youngest player ever to win Wimbledon, aged just 17 (left) in 1985, and went on to win two more Wimbledon titles

‘You have not shown remorse, acceptance of your guilt and have sought to distance yourself from your offending and your bankruptcy. While I accept your humiliation as part of the proceedings, there has been no humility.’

As he was led away, Becker was red-faced and appeared to struggle with his overnight bag. 

His girlfriend Lilian De Carvalho Monteiro blew him a kiss before he disappeared out of the court to the cells below.   

The six-time Grand Slam winner now faces losing lucrative contracts with TV networks around the world, including his job as a BBC pundit at Wimbledon. 

The rise and fall of a tennis legend: How Boris Becker went from Wimbledon teen sensation, to conceiving a child in a Mayfair restaurant, bankruptcy and facing seven years in prison 

Few sports stars have ever hit the height of Boris Becker’s tennis careers – and none as young as the German ace.

Born in Leimen, West Germany, in 1967, Becker, the son of an architect father and a Czech immigrant mother, was thrust into the world of tennis from a young age.

His father founded a tennis centre in the town, where Becker honed his skills early on.

By the age of 10, in 1977, he was a member of the junior team of the Baden Tennis Association.

He went on to win the South German championship and the first German Youth Tennis Tournament. 

After winning funding for training from the German Tennis Federation, he turned professional at 16 in 1984, winning the Tennis World Young Masters at the NEC in Birmingham in 1985, before claiming victory at Queens in June.

In July 1985, aged 17, he entered Wimbledon as an unseeded player and took the tournament by storm, beating Kevin Curren by four sets in the final

Two weeks later, in July, aged 17, he entered Wimbledon as an unseeded player and took the tournament by storm, beating Kevin Curren by four sets in the final. 

At just 17 years and 228 days old he became the youngest men’s singles champion at SW19 – and immediately became a household name.

The following year he defend his title, beating then world number one Ivan Lendl to secure back-to-back Wimbledon titles.

He appeared in 77 finals and won 49 singles titles during his 16 years as a tennis pro.

But by 1993, facing criticism over his marriage to wife Barbara and tax problems with the German government, had caused Becker to slide into a severe mid-career decline.

In 1997, Becker lost to Sampras in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. After that match, he vowed that he would never play at Wimbledon again.

However he returned one more time to the prestigious west London tennis club, in 1999, this time losing in the fourth round to Patrick Rafter.

Off the court, his personal troubles continued. He had to pay £2.4million after he fathered a daughter, named Anna, with a Russian model while married to wife Barbara.

That incident took place after he crashed out of Wimbledon to Rafter in 1999 and decided to retire from the sport, aged 31.

Becker, in his 2003 autobiography, Stay A Moment Longer, revealed how he ‘cried my eyes out’ and felt the need to go out for a few beers with friends.

However his then wife Barbara, seven months’ pregnant with their second son, wanted him to stay at their hotel with her. 

But by 1993, facing criticism over his marriage to wife Barbara and tax problems with the German government, had caused Becker to slide into a severe mid-career decline 

‘She couldn’t and wouldn’t understand that she suddenly wasn’t first in my priorities,’ said Becker. 

‘I said, ‘Just once more with the lads, Barbara, just once more to say farewell and then it’s only you’. That didn’t work. We rowed for two whole hours. Suddenly she was in pain and decided to check into hospital.;

Becker said he told his wife to call him if the baby was really on the way, then hit the town.

By 11pm he was at the bar in Mayfair’s Nobu and spotted Russian model Angela Ermakowa. The pair had sex on the staircase in the London outpost. 

The following February his secretary handed him a fax in his Munich office. It read: ‘Dear Herr Becker, We met in Nobu in London. The result of that meeting is now eight months old.’ 

He later split from his first wife Barbara Feltus, a divorce which is estimated to have cost him more than £15million, as well as their home in Miami. 

Becker found a new post-tennis purpose soon after, joining the BBC for its annual coverage of Wimbledon – to great success.

But his personal problems continued. He had a short engagement to Alessandra Meyer-Wölden in 2008, before announcing that he and Dutch model Sharlely ‘Lilly’ Kerssenberg would marry in 2009.

After nine years of marriage, and a child, Becker’s fourth, the pair split in 2018. 

A year earlier, Becker had been declared bankrupt in June 2017 over an unpaid loan of more than £3million on his estate in Mallorca, Spain.

His former business partner, Hans-Dieter Cleven, also claimed that the former tennis ace owed him more than £30million – though the case that was rejected by a Swiss court.

Now Becker faces another bump in the road – perhaps the most serious yet – after being found guilty of four counts relating to the Insolvency Act earlier this month.

He faces up to seven years in prison – with his freedom now left hanging in the balance ahead of his sentencing tomorrow.

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